Post 373: Some musings about Binyan Klal and the construction at Recov Betzall and Rechove Trumedor The artist works on the construction barrier are shown in the U-tube that is embedded in the following link: http://haira.co.il/en/menorah-graffiti-project/

After Sukot is the reckoning, “Alot Ha Mishkal”, which means “Weight goes up.”Yes, everyone gains weight during the holidays. It can vary between 2-5 pounds or more.

Look, most of us ate, and sat in the Sukah and found a place to lounge like the folks in the photograph. I have some ideas about shedding those pounds. Stick around for a future post.

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When were you last offered a couch and mat to lounge on after a long walk?

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My Jerusalem walk:

Perhaps you are familiar with  Binyan Clal?

Following is a brief history of the first “Mall” in jerusalem. Above is a photo of the entrance to the Mirpesset, a roof Urban/Ecology/Art/garden Center in the Clal building.

It’s worth the visit.

Completed in 1972, Binyan Clal was the first upscale, indoor shopping mall in Jerusalem. Built as part of a plan to revitalize Jaffa Road, it enjoyed a brief period of high occupancy until many tenants relocated to malls and office buildings in new suburbs in the 1990s. It is widely viewed as a commercial and architectural failure.

The land on which the Clal Center stands was formerly part of the campus of the Alliance Vocational School (Kol Yisrael Haverim School), the first Jewish trade school in Jerusalem.

Enrolling mostly Sephardic Jewish students, the school offered courses in tailoring, shoemaking,carpentry, blacksmithing, mechanics, engraving, sculpting (of stone, wood, and shell), coppersmithing, weaving, dyeing, stonecutting, and masonry. Founded in 1882 by the Alliance Israélite Universelle of Paris,  the school occupied 17 dunams (0.017 km2; 0.0066 sq mi) of land and consisted of a main building surrounded by long workshop buildings and landscaped gardens. Most of the school buildings and garden were razed in 1970 to make way for the Clal Center.

In 1976 a memorial to the demolished school was placed to the side of the Clal Center, facing Jaffa Road. The memorial consists of a decorative iron gate etched with the name of the school in French.

The gate is mounted between two stone pillars; it is not standing in its original location.

Another memorial to the destroyed school appears in the form of a mural in the Mahane Yehuda Market parking lot to the west. This mural depicts paintings of the main building and garden, and pictures of teachers and students.

Because of the building’s height, the Clal Center quickly became a popular venue for suicide jumpers who leaped from the upper-story windows. Rescue nets were subsequently installed on the outside of the building.

After the Clal Center was erected, a popular legend sprung up in Jerusalem that two criminals had murdered a third and buried him in the concrete foundations of the Clal Center. This rumor may have been started by parties interested in the project’s failure.

Partial view of shopping levels and food court inside the Clal Center.

When you walk around the center of town, stop at the construction at the intersection of of Recov Betzall and  Rechove Trumedor, which will be the new Betzalel Art School.

The artist works painted on the construction barrier walls are shown in the U-tube that is embedded in the following link:

http://haira.co.il/en/menorah-graffiti-project/

The scattered schools which are part of Betzalel will be joined into one huge building, the Jerusalem Arts Campus.

[…] Set in downtown Jerusalem at the top of Bezalel Street, the campus combines three or more renowned institutions – The School of Visual Theater, The School of Middle Eastern Music and The Nissan Nativ Acting Studio. The expansive campus will serve to unite the different schools.

 

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